Tribunal collapses in case of gender-critical Christian teacher

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A panel of judges that was to hear the case of a gender-critical Christian teacher dismissed by her school has stepped down.

All three members of the employment tribunal recused themselves to avoid a "perception of bias" against the teacher, who cannot be named to protect the anonymity of the child. 

The decision of employment judge Victoria Butler and lay members, Mr Javed Akhtar and Mr Jed Purkis, followed revelations of a social media post by Purkis that was said to demonstrate a "significant prejudice against Christians".

In another post, Purkis, a trade unionist, referred to supporters of the Conservative Party as "tumours". 

Their recusal came on day six of the tribunal's hearing into the case of the teacher, who claims she was dismissed after raising safeguarding concerns about the school's affirming approach to an 8-year-old female pupil wanting to become a boy.

She was sacked after she shared information about the child with lawyers as she sought a judicial review into the school and local council's handling of the child's transition.

The Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting the teacher, said that the trial is expected to begin afresh later this year with a new panel.

Responding to the recusal, the teacher said: "It means a further delay to me receiving justice, but I have to have a fair trial. I am shocked that this is not the first time this has happened.

"I am determined to pursue justice over how I have been treated because my number one concern and motivation is to protect Child X and other children in this country from harmful transgender ideology in our schools.

"I was informed by my conscience as a Christian to live right before my God and also by the body evidence I had researched which informed me clearly that social transitioning young children is harmful."

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said that the teacher's story "exposes the confusion and untruths being embedded in primary schools over human sexuality and identity which are developing into a public health crisis".

"We will continue to pursue justice for as long as it takes in this case," she said.